End-to-end encrypted Facebook Messenger chats get themes, emojis, and Bubbles
Meta has announced that it commenced the global testing of end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) conversations on Facebook Messenger. The encryption will be offered to millions worldwide, over the coming months. The tech giant has also introduced new features for Messenger chats such as custom emojis/reactions, chat themes, link previews, 'Bubbles,' and group profile photos, among others.
Why does this story matter?
- E2EE chats will be offered to Messenger users chosen randomly, and they will see their conversations getting encrypted by default. However, they will be notified of the same in advance.
- In today's world, where privacy has become so important, end-to-end encryption is the need of the hour. Meta claims that the Messenger experience will continue to be "fast, reliable, and rich."
You can check link previews before clicking on them
Users with end-to-end encryption on Messenger can select different profile pictures for different conversations, say one for colleagues and another for friends. They can also see link previews before clicking on the URL. Users can also let others know when they are active on Messenger. If they do not want to be disturbed, the status feature can be turned off.
A variety of chat themes are now offered
If you seek a personalized experience during E2EE chats, simply change the theme. From static colors to gradient themes, there is something for everybody. Meta has introduced emojis to bring more flavor to conversations. Customizing the quick reaction tray is also possible. 'Bubbles' appear around a contact's picture when you get messages from them. Bubbles let you read/reply to texts while using other apps.
What are encrypted chats and what do they do?
End-to-end encrypted chats can be read/replied to only by the sender and receiver. This is an extra layer of protection to chat contents and cannot be deciphered by a third party (in Messenger's case Facebook). Other apps like WhatsApp and Instagram already offer the E2EE facility. However, the latter permits users to select the option for individual chats.
Do E2EE chats have any loopholes?
While the E2EE chats are secured, the participant of such a conversation can always share the details with someone who is not part of it. Therefore, be it sharing texts, pictures, attachments, or videos, always be careful.